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Meeting Great Expectations: The Experiences of Minority Students at a Canadian University

Living in Two Homes

ISBN: 978-1-78635-782-3, eISBN: 978-1-78635-781-6

Publication date: 10 April 2017


As Canadian universities increasingly serve diverse student populations, there is a need to understand the experiences of racialized students, including their experiences of bias and perception of the quality of postsecondary education. We utilize qualitative interviews with 38 ‘Asian-Canadian’ undergraduate students at a Canadian university as a case study to explore challenges to identity expression, strategies to earn admission, and campus resources. The findings reveal that students’ perceive stereotyping. They point to their families as preparing them for university admission as well as describing extracurricular endeavours and international baccalaureate education as helping them meet admission requirements. Study participants described challenges in university, including accessing some services. The findings are limited in the sense of not being able to distinguish whether the concerns related to access to resources was unique to these students or the broader student population. More research is needed on the experience of racialized students in Canadian postsecondary institutions.




This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).


Zuberi, D. and Ptashnick, M. (2017), "Meeting Great Expectations: The Experiences of Minority Students at a Canadian University", Espinoza-Herold, M. and Contini, R.M. (Ed.) Living in Two Homes, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 293-312.



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